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1 October 2008updated 05 Oct 2023 8:23am

Evolution of LittleBigPlanet

With so much discussion in creative education about the barriers between arts and science work such

By Iain Simons

This is what a modern creative industry looks like.

A few weeks before the global release of LittleBigPlanet, their much anticipated Playstation 3 project, the artists at Media Molecule have released a fascinating piece of process film for those who need their faculty of wonder stimulating.

You’ll know that software is made up of thousands of lines of code. In order for teams to collaborate effectively and for large projects to be managed, everytime a line of code is altered these changes are checked into a central repository. The evolution of LittleBigPlanet documents the development of the project through entries in its source-control repository. All of these entries have been visualised using codeswarm software, which results in a hypnotic piece.

Some explanation. Each of the dots in the film represents a piece of code, which swarms toward the team member who is editing it at that time. Watch the film with an eye on the ticking calender at the bottom right, and you have a document of both sheer effort of the company and the steady staff growth of a start-up as names are gradually added to the chart.

With so much discussion in creative education about the barriers between arts and science and the drop-off in foundation science skills, work such as that by Media Molecule is hugely invigorating. With a total disregard for any divisions of specialism, the scientists are the artists are the scientists. Why isn’t this on TV?

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